Known for his incredible power and strength, Mike O’Hearn has acquired a wealth of exercise knowledge by attending the gym for decades. In his latest offering to fans, O’Hearn highlighted that a lack of aggression can prevent lifers from making meaningful gains from bench press movements.
“So, the only problem here that I saw him lift and he was so… he was walking into the lift like he walked into your house. There was no fight in him, going, ‘Hey I need to set myself up take this and push myself.’ And there’s a different mode, you’re not the same person when you’re lifting as you are out shopping for groceries,” O’Hearn explained.
For well over three decades, O’Hearn has been a titan of fitness. In addition to winning the prestigious Mr. Universe bodybuilding show, O’Hearn has showcased his youthful shredded physique for years in magazines, films, and on his YouTube channel. He’s also tested his strength in other avenues like powerlifting, arm-wrestling, and strongman.
Historically, bench press exercises have come with considerable risk. Bodybuilder Ryan Crowley found this out the hard way. Despite being spotted by powerlifting star Larry Wheels, Crowley still sustained a serious pec tear after a failed bench press attempt.
And it’s not just bodybuilders who have injured themselves bench pressing. Recently, strongman legend Hafthor Bjornsson announced his foray back into powerlifting. However, his ambitions were dashed temporarily after he sustained a painful pec tear while attempting to bench press 556.7 pounds.
Since the accident, he’s been open about the recovery process and has received successful surgery to repair the damage. Thor also joined O’Hearn for a special Tom-Platz-style training session designed to strengthen ligaments in the legs. And given the danger of bench exercises, O’Hearn thought it was best to underline the biggest mistake made by lifters.
Mike O’Hearn Talks Bench Exercises, Says to Take Them Serious or ‘You’re Going to Get Hurt Someday’
According to O’Hearn, bench movements, and big lifts require aggression. He believes those who lift casually will end up injuring themselves.
“There’s got to be some kind of attitude in an attempt of aggression to frequently lift the weight. If it’s not, if you’re just phoning it in and just going, ‘Oh it’s the same as buying milk.’ Not only are you not going to get any benefit, but you’re also going to get hurt someday,” Mike O’Hearn explained.
His biggest piece of advice was to ‘take it serious, get underneath the bar, and get aggressive’ when tackling a big lift.
“Take it serious, get underneath the bar and get aggressive. It might not be somebody else’s 700 but it’s heavy for you and your attitude should represent that. It is a fight. If you go down in a slow motion but controlled where you were like, ‘Oh let me just try to get it down and up as fast as I can.’ If you took yourself out and go, ‘I’m going to lose this battle no matter what,’ instead of ‘I’m going to freakin fight for this thing.’ Control it, bring it down in a slow controlled and press up.”
What sets O’Hearn apart is his endurance, strength, and longevity. At 54 years old, he maintains an incredible build and routinely challenges himself inside the gym. Mike also collaborates with other fitness stars such as Joseph Baena, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s son. O’Hearn has offered Baena insight with several training sessions, which are typically designed for wellness and living longer.
In another recent demonstration, O’Hearn offered fans a Kai Greene-inspired mind-muscle connection back training session. The back can be difficult to activate properly due to its complexity, but O’Hearn emphasized that it’s essential to longevity.
If anyone is qualified to speak on chest exercises, it’s Mike O’Hearn. Throughout the years, he’s shown off impressive feats of strength and impressive upper body development. While taking part in a brutal arms workout, Mike close-grip bench pressed 385 pounds for 10 reps.
Figuring out bench mistakes has become a popular subject in fitness given the prevalence of injuries. Whether the problem is half reps, elbow flare, bouncing the barbell, or not retracting the shoulder blades, O’Hearn is confident he has the solution.
O’Hearn likens bench pressing to a fight and believes one’s attitude should represent that during a lift. In light of his recent tip, he hopes to make the movement safer for anyone who is dedicated to building the chest.